I'll Have Another took an easy gallop around the Belmont oval Saturday in preparation for the 2012 Belmont Stakes and his run at the Triple Crown. Conditions were sloppy due to overnight rain, but the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was the first horse to hit the mud at 8:30 a.m. ET. I'll Have Another finished sixth at the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga in his only start over an off-track, but trainer Doug O'Neill said he isn't worried about potential slop affecting his horse.
"He had a lot of trouble in the Hopeful and came out of it with sore shins," O'Neill said. "During this whole Triple Crown run, he's trained over a lot of sloppy tracks and he gets over it really well. I don't think track surface will be an issue."
O'Neill is preparing to move his horse early into the secure barn that will house all of the Belmont contenders by the afternoon on Wednesday. He once again reiterated the same confidence in I'll Have Another that he has all week.
"With a horse like I'll Have Another you're under a really strong microscope," he said. "I think it's all just trying to show the public we care for the horses and that when you put your hard-earned money and you bet on one of the horses you can know they're all clean and pure and ready to go."
For more on the Preakness Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.